a loosely-defined set of symbols

The Dwarves of Rhymeceilings had never taken down a multi-story above-ground structure before, as there had only ever been the one. But now it was time, as the attempt at a bucket-filled waterfall-tower had proven not nearly worth the effort: it froze in winter, as with all aboveground structures, and produced a puff of mist next to the properly-underground tavern below it only once a week, or perhaps month, or year. The new windmill-powered one, although further from the Tavern, had now rendered it entirely obsolete.

Ared Ilrerorkek was an expert diagnostician, but spent most of his time showing up drunk and naked to every available mining job, the further underground and distant from society the better; deprived of a dangerous physical task to perform dressed in nothing but socks and more recently a very fine river-otter-leather cloak (this was politely described as “zany” by his friends), he would rapidly fall into depression and stumble about aimlessly.

Needless to say, he was the first on the scene when it was time to deconstruct the Water Tower. Applying his usual unplanned but enthusiastic approach, he started tearing down walls, which caused the ceiling to fall in on him, the floor to collapse, and his body to fall several Z-levels down into the bottom of the obsolete well, in seven-deep water and crushed beneath the willow blocks of the tower.

A sad day for the fortress!

During the excavation for his planned palatial tomb near the well-bottom that had claimed his life, a goblin parley-horn was heard sounding from the West; a delegation from Spossnodub, the Abyssal Plague, had come to demand something or other from Rhymeceilings. Our Mayor at the time, Tukstis Asmuroma (still only a Mayor after the unfortunate death of the Founder and Baroness Zan Zozdegel in 112), went out to meet with them, but came back with no useful information, only carrying things from place to place muttering for some time.

We were still wondering whether the Mayor had received some demand from the Vile Force of Darkness after all, and whether his carrying and muttering were somehow related to the threat, when the sounds of battle arose from outside the walls, and the Battle Horn was blown.

In the aftermath, it developed that one or more of the Vile Force had slaughtered an animal that had strayed beyond the walls, and/or perhaps a Child Snatcher had attempted to slip into the fortress, and one of the more impatient members of the Guard had blown the horn; but in any case all thought of parley was now cast aside.

The battle was quick and bloody. When it was over, all of the Vile Force of Darkness was dead or fled, as was two-fifths of the then population of Rhymeceilings. The hospital was full of groaning patients, and various civilian bards and dancers were pressed into service as doctors and surgeons. Hammerlord Doren Zuglarbakust erithobur Kakdal, who had added at least two goblin kills to her long list, was in the Dead Sanctum, praying noisily to Mondul, deity of Death. And it had been suggested to the scholars in the Great Library that designs for more effective fortifications, and perhaps cunning traps, might be helpful as preparation for the future.

Shortly after this, naturally, a caravan from home, including the Outpost Liaison Asmel Gidthurreg, arrived. As I write this in the Great Library (which was, thankfully, spared any significant impact of battle), the Liaison is still wandering the fortress, waiting for the Mayor (who suffered compound fractures of the lower spine) to regain consciousness.

It was a bright, sunny day when a man stepped onto the dusty platform at the small Wyoming town of Grady. He looked to be in his late forties, with an easy gait and a confident expression on his face. He was dressed in a gray suit, and carried a battered suitcase. He looked around curiously, and smiled as he noticed the curious faces watching him from windows and porches.

He felt a strong sense of belonging, a feeling that this was exactly where he should be. He stepped forward, and as he did, something extraordinary happened: he split into four parts, each one of him standing side by side, forming a string quartet.

The four men stood in a line, dressed identically, each playing his own instrument. One of them held a violin, one a viola, one a cello, and the last a double bass. All four instruments played together in perfect harmony, and the man who had arrived a few moments earlier smiled in amazement as the music filled the air.

The people of Grady stepped forward and gathered around the quartet, looking on in amazement. They had never seen anything like this before.

The four men played for a few moments, then stopped abruptly. A small flock of birds had swooped down from the sky and were perched on the man's head, and he beamed with delight as the birds chirped and sang in harmony with the quartet.

The people of Grady were entranced. They had never seen or heard anything like this before. The man looked around at them and smiled, and then he spoke:

“Friends,” he said, in a voice that was both gentle and dignified, “I am here for a reason. I am here to explore the wonders of the world. To discover new things, and to share them with you. Please, come with me, and together, let us explore the mysterious and the magical, the strange and the beautiful.”

The people of Grady, filled with excitement and anticipation, agreed. They followed the man and his string quartet, filled with dreams of adventure.

As they walked, the man began to tell stories of magical creatures and strange lands. He spoke of otherworldly creatures, of distant places and hidden secrets. The people of Grady listened with fascination.

The man told them of a wondrous land that was full of mystery and mystery. He told them of a forest full of birds and beasts, and of a village of elves who lived in the treetops. He spoke of ancient ruins, of lost cities, of strange creatures and places undiscovered. He described the beauty of the world, and filled their hearts with a sense of wonder.

After a long journey, the man and his quartet finally arrived at their destination. They had reached a mystical mountain, and the man declared that this was the end of their journey. He asked the people of Grady to look around, to explore and to marvel at the amazing things they saw.

The people of Grady did as the man asked, and they became lost in the beauty of the world they had discovered. Everywhere they looked, they saw something new, something strange, something beautiful. They saw birds that sang in different languages, and plants that glowed in the darkness of night. They saw creatures that seemed to come straight out of a dream, and places that seemed to exist only in their imaginations.

Above all, they saw the man. He stood at the center of the mountain, surrounded by his string quartet, the birds perched on his head. He looked around, and smiled, and they felt an overwhelming sense of calm.

The man had become part of this place, and the people of Grady were in awe. They began to whisper among themselves, speculating about the man and his quartet, about the birds and the creatures, about the beauty of the world they had discovered.

They saw the man as a symbol of exploration, of discovery, of true magic. He had truly become the embodiment of their dreams.

They lived in huts now, lovely round simple things that were hidden amongst the trees, and they lived off the land. They had no real leader, no real leader, which was perhaps one of the reasons they were able to survive so long. And it was a beautiful, peaceful life they led.

Once every year, they would gather in the center of the mountain, where the man and his quartet still stood. They would sing, and tell stories, and play instruments. They would share their dreams with one another, and marvel at them all.

The man always sat by a wide, clear pond that was fed by a glorious waterfall. He would sit down by the pond and look around at all the people, and he always smiled contentedly.

Some people would tell stories about the man, some about the birds and the animals, and some about the beautiful world they had all discovered. The stories would always be full of wonder and mystery and imagination, and a great sense of adventure.

The people would laugh, remembering their old lives of dust and toil, and the satisfaction they felt when they fulfilled their dreams. They would each tell a story, and they would each share their dreams with everyone.

The man sat at the pond, listening to the stories and sharing in the dreams. And whenever anyone asked about the mysterious circumstances of his arrival, the birds, the violin, the double bass, the man would smile and say, “It's a long story. A very long story.”

In a nearby hut, an old man sat in the corner, carving a piece of wood. He was very old, his hands twisted and gnarled, but he was very skilled. His hands moved swiftly, and the sounds of the birds echoed inside his mind.

The birds had been a source of great inspiration for him. They were like music, like music, and he was slowly learning to play their song. And the melody it produced was beautiful, and it made him smile whenever he heard it.

He carved a tiny violin, with strings as fine as silk and as strong as steel. He carved its body and its neck, and he carved its bow and its tuning pegs. He carved a barrel for the violin, and he carved its pegs. He carved its tailpiece, and he carved its chin rest.

And when he was done, he smiled to himself, thinking of the wonder and the magic of it all. He said to himself, “It's a long story, a very long story,” and then he laughed, and laughed, and laughed.

That night, just at the darkest hour, there came riding out of the sky on a smoldering horse-fox, a beautiful girl with skin like fire and hair like snow. She was wrapped in a cloak made of feathers, and she gave a mournful cry as her eyes fell on the man.

“My poor, poor sisters,” she cried, “how they must feel!”

And then she turned to the man and pleaded with him, “I beseech you, my Lord, I beseech you, but only you, can help us! And if you do, then we shall be free. If only you could help us, my sisters would be free.”

And the man, for the first time, looked confused. “But I do not know your sisters,” he said, “and I do not know what you mean.”

And the girl looked at him, and she looked at the birds on his head, and she said, “You must have forgotten.”

And then she turned sadly away from the man, and she flew back into the darkness of the night.

The man sat by the pond, and he stared into the water. He stared at his reflection in the water, and he thought of the girl, and her sisters, and her appeal.

He thought of all the people, and the stories they had told. He thought of all the dreams they had shared.

He saw the image of the girl in the water, and he knew that he had been there before, that he had seen her before, but he could not remember when, or where, or how.

He began to play with the birds. He played, and his music echoed into the distance, and the birds joined in the song. And the music was like a dream, and the birds were like music.

The man played for a long time, until the birds and the animals and the people of Grady had all fallen asleep. The music flowed out into the world, filling the air with melody, and peace, and wonder, and the man slept by the pond.

Then, at the darkest hour, there came riding out of the sky on a smoldering horse-fox, a beautiful girl with skin like fire and hair like snow. She was wrapped in a cloak made of feathers, and she gave a mournful cry as her eyes fell on the man.

“My poor, poor sisters,” she cried, “how they must feel!”

And then she turned to the man, and she said, “Were you not you were a boy, my lord?”

And the man said, “Yes, I was once a boy.”

And the girl said, “Could you not still be a boy?”

And the man looked at the birds on his head, and he thought of the dream they had shared. He thought of the people of Grady, and their stories. He thought of their dreams, and he thought of his own dreams, and he thought of the girl, and of her sisters.

And then he thought of the story the old man had told, and he remembered the girl, and her sisters, and the music, and the words, and the wonder and the magic of it all.

And with that, he raised his violin to his shoulder, and he played. The melody echoed through the mountains and the valleys, through the forests and the fields, and the birds joined in the song.

And the music was like a dream, and the birds were like music.

Pretty impressive! I made Parker House Rolls the other day, and today I was talking to a friend about #ChatGPT, and decided it see what kind of recipe it would generate. It did a really good job! Compare to the one that I posted on Wordpress.

Parker House Rolls by #ChatGPT


  • 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • ½ cup plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ cups milk, lukewarm
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 5 ½ cups all-purpose flour


  1. In a small bowl, combine the yeast, 1 teaspoon of sugar, and ½ cup of lukewarm milk. Stir to dissolve the yeast and set aside until foamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine the remaining sugar, milk, and butter. Add the eggs, salt, and 2 cups of flour. Mix on low speed until well combined.
  3. Add the yeast mixture and continue mixing on low speed, gradually adding the remaining flour ½ cup at a time until a soft dough forms. You may not need to use all of the flour.
  4. Increase the mixer speed to medium and continue kneading the dough until it becomes smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.
  5. Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning to coat. Cover with a clean, damp cloth and set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  6. Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 24 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and place them in a greased 9x13-inch baking dish.
  7. Cover the rolls with a clean, damp cloth and set aside to rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
  8. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  9. Bake the rolls for 15-20 minutes, or until they are golden brown.
  10. Serve the rolls warm, with butter.

Executive summary:

Get your magic authorization token by logging into your server, right-clicking on the page in Chrome, doing “Inspect”, going to the “Network” section, reloading if necessary, clicking on any request, looking at the Request Headers, and finding the Authorization header that contains “Bearer” followed by lots of alphanumeric gibberish. That gibberish is your token.

In a shell, issue:

curl --header "Authorization: Bearer [token]" -X POST https://[your server]/api/v1/domain_blocks -d "domain=[bad server]"

and expect the reply {}.

Or forget all of that, and make a one-line file with the domain name and import it as a domain-block list!

Possibly-entertaining narrative form:

I started to write this with an introduction about blocking domains and why it's useful and how Mastodon differs from Twitter and stuff, but realized that it's not really relevant. Maybe I'll polish that and post it by itself someday. Even this is getting long, so I'll put a tl;dr at the top most likely.

But anyway suffice it to say that sometimes one finds out that a server called like exists, and that for whatever reason one doesn't want to interact with it or anyone on it, in any way.

(As a user, that is. Being a server admin and wanting to cut off from interacting with one's server is a Whole Other Thing that I'm not talking about here.)

Various UIs and apps and things provide various ways to do this. The simplest way to do it in the web ui (which is all I use or know much about) is to find some user on the server, say foo, search on @[email protected], find that profile, open it, open the kabob (three vertical dots) menu in the profile, and do “Block domain”. The server will then show up under “blocked domains” in one's own profile dropdown.

This doesn't work if there aren't any known users on, or if that server refuses to serve anything about them (the empty “profile unavailable” fake profile that the UI serves up in that case doesn't have a kabob menu).

In that case, we can still block the server, by having fun with curl and the Mastodon API. Yay!

(Probably there is also some much simpler method that someone will point out to me and I will slap my forehead, but this is still fun! Since this was originally written, it's been pointed out that one can make a one-line file with the domain name, and then import it as a blocked-domains list under “Import and Export”, so that's an alternative. But less fun!)

curl (“client for URLs”) is a magical and very useful 25-year-old program that lets one do all sorts of things that normally browsers do, from a command line. It was originally a *ix program of course, but I was impressed to find that it's also Just There and Just Works from a Windows shell prompt in Windows 11 here, which is cool.

If we look at the Mastodon API documentation on domain blocking, we see that all we need to do is send a POST request to /api/v1/domain_blocks on our server, with the domain field set to There's also some stuff about an “Authorization”, but we'll ignore that for now.

To send that via curl, we would just do:

curl -X POST https://[your server]/api/v1/domain_blocks -d ""

Doing that gets us the polite reply:

{ "error": "The access token is invalid" }

so apparently we do have to worry about that Authorization thing.

The thing that we need is a magical token that reflects the fact that we are us, and we are logged onto our server. There are two ways to obtain this token; we can actually send the OAUTH request with our password and everything, as described here (I don't know why I can't find a more official-looking source; probably bad github search skills, unless perhaps it's not or no longer correct), or we can just get it from a logged-in browser session.

To do the latter in Chrome (in other browsers, presumably some rough equivalent), right-click on a page where you're logged into your server, choose Inspect to get the scary everything-going-on page, select “Network” at the top, wait or refresh the page until some requests appear in the request list, click on one, scroll to the request headers section, and find the “Authorization” header; it should contain the word “Bearer” followed by a whole lot of alphanumeric gibberish. That gibberish is the magical token.

Armed with that, we can do:

curl --header "Authorization: Bearer [gibberish]" -X POST https://[your server]/api/v1/domain_blocks -d ""

If that works, it will helpfully reply {}, and now should appear in your Blocked Domains list, and you'll never have to deal with those jerks.


Good #zazen today. An easy claim, as all zazen is pretty much inherently perfect.

As is everything else. But we tend to talk about much other stuff in contexts where it's (perhaps?) useful to speak as though it weren't.

About five minutes in (I have bells set every five minutes for thirty minutes in the little Zen timer app that I use on my oblong), I got a very strong itch near the small of my back.

My body was yelling, “Itch! Itch! Possible burrowing parasitic insect or infected thorn or something! Skin alert! Scrape skin with fingernails at once!”, as bodies do.

It was interesting to sit there with the itch and the yelling from my body, as one sits there with the sleepiness and the arising and dissipating of thoughts and the taking in and letting out of breath.

We scratch itches just like we wash our bowls (or put them in the dishwasher) after eating; there's nothing at all wrong with scratching an itch. We also follow trains of thought, pursue ideas, walk around, and even fall asleep.

But it's good, it's also good, to sometimes sit there with the itch, not scratching it but just acknowledging it, accepting it, noticing that the body is yelling. Noticing that we are sleepy, that trains of thought are arising, that the legs are aching a bit. And not doing anything about it.

Fendor faked his own death (as everyone suspects) but so did Meredith. Meredith then killed Fendor for real, using Mac's knife, during the macarena, and she is the one who has been moving the statues.

All of the characters except Benny are animatronic robots that Benny created in the alien lab, but due to the trauma on New Year's Eve, he's suppressed that knowledge. He will regain his memory, and then in a climactic final scene will discover that he is also a robot, created by the aliens before they left Earth, and Sherene has known all along.

The characters are all dead and in Hell; Benny is Satan.

The characters are all dead and in Heaven; Mac is God.

The characters are all dead; Benny is God, Mac is Satan, and the two are vying for control of the others through the visions.

Meredith and Mac are working together to drive Benny insane, so they can split the lottery winnings between them; everyone but Benny knows that Meredith is still alive, but don't mention it to avoid enraging him again.

Sherene and Mac are lovers, and only pretending to hate each other to keep Meredith from suspecting.

Benny and Mac are lovers, and only pretending to hate each other to keep Sherene from suspecting.

Sherene has a key to the Circular Room, and has been slipping in at night and planting the “alien messages” to manipulate the others.

Fendor was not killed by the poison, and regained consciousness during the macarena. He is the one that lit the fire in the abbey, and used the distraction to steal Meredith's papers.

Anyone entering the Circular Room is transported forward in time by one day (alien technology). This is how Meredith could reappear in the dining room after the macarena; Mac was not involved in any way.

There are lots of open questions about (among other things) the legal status of AI art tools (Midjourney, StableDiffusion, etc.) with respect to the works that the AIs are trained on.

What might happen in the short to medium term, with the concerns of artists and writers whose works are used to produce AI tools that other people then use to create art and writing that might (for instance) cut into the demand for the works of those artists and writers? Will the legal system find that (for instance) there are copyright issues involved at all?

I list some possibilities, in roughly descending order of how likely I think they are:

  • I fear that the most likely outcome is that the artists and writers are just out of luck, because some of the AI tools companies are rich and individual artists and writers, even as a class, aren’t rich.
  • Second most likely, the bigger AI-makers will give some symbolic amount of money to something that will benefit some artists and writers a little and some lawyers a lot, and there will be no precedent-setting court decision.
  • Less likely, after some long wrangling process, something like the Private Copying Levy might be worked out, which is sort of like that last bullet, but more codified and involving more money, and possibly a precedent that there is a copyright violation at least potentially involved.
  • Even less likely, there would be some kind of opt-out process whereby a creator could indicate they didn’t want their stuff used to train AIs, and makers of AI engines would have to like re-generate their neural nets annually without the opted-art works.
  • And at the bottom, perhaps fairest in some sense but also least likely, a straightforward finding that AI Engine makers, at least ones that make money, really do need the right to copy and/or prepare derivative works of the things they train their engines on. So we’d get engines trained on just public domain works, things out of copyright, things posted under sufficiently permissive licenses, things they explicitly license, and so on. I would be fine with this, myself, but I wouldn’t bet on it happening.

Time will tell, and most likely the above is wrong in significant and interesting ways. :)

(Things might get interestingly different if big record companies eventually go up against big AI makers over AI tools for music; it's interesting in itself that this hasn't happened, and there's no Stable Diffusion for music! I wonder why.)

I wrote a version of this list on my main wordpress weblog (scroll down a bit there), in the context of a developing class action lawsuit against Microsoft and GitHub, over copyright violations in the CoPilot product (which, unlike AI tools for text and art, seems to commit verbatim copying with some frequency).

But I think the basic set of possibilities applies to generative AI tools for text and art as well, so I thought I'd post an appropriately tweaked list here as well. I guess you can't comment here :) unless I've overlooked an affordance, so feel free to comment on the original wordpress post or post at me on Mastodon or whatever!

TEN social media?

I realized that I'm on so many social media (“social media”) systems now, that I can't keep them all straight. So I set up a Link Tree (thus adding yet another system?) to hold pointers to them all. So far there appear to be ten (not including Link Tree): . Let's list them as they are today, with brief commentary, just for fun!

Mastodon: Sort of my main hangout after fleeing Twitter (although I do still stray back there now and then). Mostly I boost stuff, sometimes comment, boost my PixelFed images (see below), and sometimes say random things there.

Pixelfed: Midjourney pictures! Mostly weird and/or surreal. I generate literally thousands of these (headed for that MJ 25,000 club soon), and post a teeny tiny fraction of the ones I love most. Entire essays could be written about the aesthetic, social, legal, and moral status of AI Art: as I say in my profile on Pixelfed, “I think AI Art is Art, and I also think that the rights of artists whose works are used in creating AI Art tools must be respected, and I hope we find a path that benefits everyone.” I've written various things about the legal / copyright status of things made with AI art tools on the ceoln weblog (see below also), but eventually I got bored of it. :) Copyright law (and practice) are such a mess, mere reason isn't enough to predict what might happen.

The main WordPress weblog: This is where “ceoln” originally comes from; it's short for “the Curvature of the Earth is Overwhelmed by Local Noise”, for no particular reason. I post stuff there, including my NaNoWriMo stories, random thoughts, and sometimes more organized sets of like Midjourney or Nightcafe pictures.

The Dale Innis weblog: A weblog, quiet sparsely updated lately, where I would talk about Second Life, Opensim, and other virtual worlds (i.e. World of Warcraft, heh heh) stuff, back when I kept that identity more separate from my real-world one.

Instagram: Mostly I post pictures of one building on 14th Street for no apparent reason. Also some graffiti and the occasional heartwarming cat picture or something.

The Beauty Of Our Weapons dot tumblr dot com: I created this a long time ago, mostly just reposting funny pictures or weird little things I did in Photoshop or whatever. More recently threw a few Midjourney images there because why not. Maybe tumblr will become the dominant social media site (again)!

u/ceoln on Reddit: I'm not all that active on reddit, but what the heck? :) I was active in like r/aidungeon for awhile, back before that burned down. And r/zen despite it being a perpetual trashfire.

Me on Friendica: Just playing with this so far; not sure how it differs from Mastodon, except that maybe its client is also an RSS/Atom reader?

me on WriteFreely: Right here! :) Not positive why, yet; experimenting with it as an WordPress alternative I spose.

me on Twitter: Under my Dale Innis identity again. I didn't realize how bad using Twitter made me feel, until I started using other things instead.

There should really be a “Preview” button for this UI. I wonder what this will look like once I publish it! :)

Noun Phrases

A large white room. In the center of the room, a white cube. On the wooden cube, an abstract metal shape.

An open box made of wooden slats. An old matchbook, in the box. An old screwdriver, in the box. Three small screws, and a nail, in the box.

A table up against one wall of a silent cluttered room. A plate and a cup sitting on the table. A broken pencil, sitting on the table.

A pack of tarot cards, buried at the foot of a tree, near the edge of the woods. An old house, standing at the edge of the woods. A leaf, fallen from a tree near the old hour. An acorn, fallen from the same tree.

The stones spread on the driveway of the house. The cracked cement stairs leading down to the driveway. The cracked cement wall next to the driveway. The round holes in the cement wall, lined with red mortar. A chipmunk that lives in a hole in the cement wall.

A snake. A snake coiled around a stick. A snake coiled around an automatic weapon. A snake with one eye, coiled around an automatic weapon abandoned in a forgotten corner of the plaza.

Feelings of pleasant melancholy upon contemplating things in the past that bloomed and then faded all too soon.

A postage stamp. A post-it note. A roll of Scotch Brand Magic Transparent Tape. A pebble.

The sound made by your spoon in your half-empty coffee cup. The smell of coffee. Chlorogenic acid.

The City of Paris. La République française.

An apartment in Paris. The hallway door to an apartment in Paris. A metal plate on the hallway door to an apartment in Paris. The number 317.

A question about the speaker's experience with urban planning. The concept of truth. The title of the presentation. The speaker's hair. The color of the speaker's hair. The first page of the speaker's notes.

A cat sleeping in a box. A cat sleeping in the sun. A cat sleeping under a bed. A cat sleeping on a sofa. A cat sleeping on a rug. A cat sleeping on a hooked rug that depicts the story of the scorpion and the frog.

Books. Cows. A rabbit. A tablet. A rabbit-shaped tablet. Two cows. 3.9 million votes. Sweaters. Time. Motion. Long division. A table leg.

An analysis of the cultural consequences of the Muslim transformation of Constantinople. The United States Senate. Weblogs. Fear. Three sticks bound together with a length of vine. Rainbows.

I say that all the time. :)

I forget where-all I've written down more about it, and what it means (ha ha a trick, nothing “means”).

“Language cannot express truth” isn't true, or at least doesn't express truth (since it's language and all).

And also because when we learn (by ostention) what it means to express truth, the examples we learn from are pretty much linguistic.

But it's meant to suggest that there is something that we might expect language to do, or might think that it does, that it does not actually do.

I wrote some words about this in the 2022 NaNoWriMo novel “Various Flings”. Let's see...

“I might write down the words 'language allows one mind to communicate a thought to another'; but what is communication? What is thought?

This is why it is difficult to construct language about language, nicht wahr? I can use language, and these books can use language, to speak about, to be about, anything whatever, on the assumption that language works for speaking about things. But if I am going to speak about language? What can I use, if I have not yet satisfied myself (satisfied the potential reader) that language works?”

That is not entirely it. Another bit of it is that truth, either the detailed material truth of the universal wave equation or the subjectively infinite truth of experience, is far too complex and nuanced to capture in some very finite string of symbols from a tiny even more finite set, in any approximation sufficiently accurate to deserve the title of truth.

Exceptions in the case of for instance small formal systems may be addressed later on.